Three Final #GE 2016 Predictions

The final Leaders’ Debate will be televised tonight as we approach the last few days of campaigning and canvassing in this shortest of election campaigns.

The polls have been sending out a number of messages, at times conflicted, but the main story emerging from the polling picture appears to be that a viable governing coalition seems difficult to assemble, unless Fine Gael and Fianna Fail take the historic step to coalesce and begin a new chapter in Irish political history.

The chaos scenario has the potential to determine the final first preference destination of many undecided voters. With that in mind, I’m throwing out three predictions of my own for how Election Day is likely to pan out.

1. TINA can still deliver for FG: in spite of what has been widely acknowledged to be a pretty disastrous campaign by the lead party of government, Fine Gael appear to be the beneficiaries of a late surge, no doubt attributable to the potent message that there is no alternative which the incumbent party may have failed to drive home, yet which may ultimately prove decisive in swinging enough voters back behind the party to ensure Fine Gael retain a significant advantage over Fianna Fail and remain in pole position to at least attempt to build a coalition or govern as a minority administration.

2. Fianna Fail are being paroled from purgatory: the electoral meltdown that was The Nightmare of 2011 for Ireland’s one-time most successful and most popular political party will partly be put behind them as the rehabilitation process takes a giant leap forward. The reported death of Fianna Fail was premature; from 1932 until 2011, the lowest share of the vote returned by FF was 39.1% (in 1992) and the lowest seat tally returned at an election was 65 seats in 1954. The voters who abandoned the party five years ago, costing it a half-century in seats, have old voting habits that still linger.  Fianna Fail is in the DNA of far too many Irish people to be cast aside for too long.

3. Sinn Fein to make the breakthrough as Voice of the Left, but to be left pondering what could have been: Even with the downward momentum affecting the party in the polls of late, Sinn Fein is still on course for the party’s greatest performance in the Dail since the revolutionary era. The Adams-McGuinness project is about to hit its high water mark, with the party poised to occupy the position of primary voice of the mainstream Irish Left, a place it will prove extremely difficult to be forced from in the years to come. Securing in excess of 22 seats will ensure Sinn Fein records the third largest return for a left wing party at Dail elections (the 33 Labour TDs of the ’92 Spring Tide and unprecedented 37 Labour TDs of 2011 being the highest marks for an avowedly left wing party in the State.)  Yet voices inside will undoubtedly begin to ask if the party would have made a considerably greater leap forward in 2016 were it not for the fact that the transition to a new leadership had not been completed in advance. Those discussions will happen as of necessity, not as a reaction to the hostile ramblings of political opponents in the Southern media (noted even by this unlikely source  & quite brilliantly parodied by another), whose conduct throughout this campaign has betrayed a deep sense of anxiety stemming from an inability to permanently halt Sinn Fein’s advance.

  • mickfealty

    I’d say that if they do that Chris, that’s job done for SF. 23 seats was what they set out to get as minimum and anything more was always going to be a bonus.

    FG and Labour mistook recovery for feel good and didn’t add a top line to the bottom line message of stability. Incumbency usually counts for something but with the electorate this volatile, I’m not betting on any outcome.

    Fianna Fail have played a pretty good hand with some limited cards. The DNA thing is right, but it needed careful handling, and it brought Martin more than its fair share of internal rancour.

    They may need to tweak their strategy, but being seen to ‘do the right thing’ may be enough to get them through what could be a tricky Tallaght situation. The first Tallaght didn’t work for FG because they were too permissive. FF won’t be.

    The independent small party thing seems to now be an established feature of the Irish system (and the Australian Senate where they also use PR STV). I suspect the longer term future belongs to successful coalition builders.

    As for new leadership, I’m maybe missing something really obvious, but I don’t see it. GA is virtually unmoveable, and besides, whatever the external expectations the campaign is roughly where the party expected to be right now.

    And it’s a lot higher than it was during the last FG/FF squeeze in 2007. The problem with inheriting the voice of the left position is exactly the one that faced Labour before them. Where do you go from there?

  • Jon Hope

    Pretty spot on. Agree that this will be the high watermark for Adams’ led Sinn Féin in the South. Nevertheless I think they’ll do pretty well, not even based on the polls but just anecdotes from Taxi drivers and such.

    I’d be a bit more sceptical about the resurgence of FF. They’re suffering, for the first time, from something SF are well acquainted with; there’s a section of society that say they will simply never vote for them. That section is young and newly enfranchised by the Marriage Equality movement. It’ll be around a long time. It talks, with hushed shame, of it’s uncle who still canvasses for FF.

    SF have proven you can soften up this mindset. It is possible to turn it round (and I think FF will do it from the ground up) nevertheless it’s there and it’s monolithic.

    Labour to be more or less destroyed, FG within a whiff of a minority government. Watch out for the Social Democrats.

  • mickfealty

    If they only got what they had last time, they’d come back with up to ten more seats. An increase of 5 or 6 points will get them nearly double.

    But I agree, an awful lot of what they lost last time will not come back.

  • Nicholas Whyte

    Very interested by the phrase “high water mark”, which clearly implies that the next step
    Is down…

  • Robin Keogh

    They will hit 40 seats no problem

  • Robin Keogh

    Not a chance Nicky, not a chance. If you saw the work being done on the ground while Gerry takes the hits u would be adequetly impressed.

  • Nicholas Whyte

    I want to be clear that I’m not making a prediction of my own (I find the next election stressful enough to think about, never mind the one after), just querying Chris’s turn of phrase here.

    As for the work on the ground – the only empirical evidence I’ve seen was the Dublin West by-election, which did not completely confirm the narrative. But we’ll see what happens later this week.

  • Zig70

    Claire Byrne for Taoiseach!! She has impressed me the most. Though my guess is she might be on the right. Minister for Prisons then. My vote in on second election.

  • Robin Keogh

    In the 2011 general election in Dublin West, SF won 6% of the vote. In the 2011 by election they got 9%, in the 2014 by election they won 21%. How does that look, in terms of work on the ground?

  • mac tire

    “‘Id say that if they do that Chris, that’s job done for SF. 23 seats was
    what they set out to get as minimum and anything more was always going
    to be a bonus.”

    Spot on, Mick. In late January I asked a senior SF strategist what his take on the election would be re: SF.

    He told me that 18% would be a really good day for them and his guess was easily 16/17% but hoping for more. He was quite precise and to be honest, at the moment, on the ball, I’d say.

    Recently as SF rose slightly higher in the polls I thought about it and how he was underselling himself but it turns out he knows more about these things than I would.

    Just putting that out there as an insight.

  • Kev Hughes

    ‘I’d be a bit more sceptical about the resurgence of FF. They’re suffering, for the first time, from something SF are well acquainted with; there’s a section of society that say they will simply never vote for them. That section is young and newly enfranchised by the Marriage Equality movement. It’ll be around a long time. It talks, with hushed shame, of it’s uncle who still canvasses for FF.’

    Spot on. I’m really interested to see how they’ll do in Dublin. Mick pointed out a cumann in Kerry with 2,000 supporters, while I asked would they get that figure in Drumcondra nowadays.

    Being an ex-pat/emigrant on the continent, my bosses were mainly Irish/Dubs and none of them will ever vote for FF again, ever. One is avowedly FG, the other would have been gene-pool FF (his family are/were all members or the Gardai since the founding of the State) in North Dublin while the rest think FF is a ‘culchie’ party, much the same way many accuse (and to a certain extent, rightly) SF of being a ‘northern’ party.

    If they make any serious in roads in Dublin then who knows.

  • JohnTheOptimist

    The problem for SF, as for all left-wing parties in Ireland, is that they can only maintain their (very limited) popularity by not going into government. In other words, left-wing parties in Ireland are primarily parties of protest, not parties that the electorate actually want to see running things.

    More or less since the foundation of the state, all left-wing parties that have gone into government had been decimated at the subsequent election: Labour and Clann Na Poblachta in the 1950s, Labour in 1977, Labour in 1987, the Greens in 2011, and now Labour again in 2016. The total left-wing vote in Ireland remains permanently stuck at under 30%. It looks like being lower this time than in 2011. But, within that 30% or less, the party that emerges as top dog among the Left is invariably the one that hasn’t been in government. So, this time round, SF are surging (if you call 13%-14% a surge) and Labour are being decimated, simply because Labour have been in government and SF haven’t. In the unlikely event that SF goes into government as a coalition partner of FG or FF, and Labour doesn’t go into government, then next time round it will be SF that are decimated and Labour that are surging. Likewise the Social Democrats and Greens. The polls give them 3%-4%. But, if either goes into government as a very junior partner of FG or FF, they’ll be lucky to get 1% next time.

    The reality is that Ireland is a center-right country. It has never had a left-wing government and hopefully it never will have. If the post-election Dail is such that FG or FF need one or the other of the many left-wing parties to form a government, then so be it. That would be unfortunate, but there would be consolation in the knowledge that the one chosen for this role would be wiped out in the next election.

  • WindowLean

    Mick for the first time in a long time, I agree with all of this. I’ll have to lie down in a darkened room for a while!! Anywhere north of 22/23 seats for SF will be a big result and Adams will be able to say “we’ve had our best day in 80 odd years under my stewardship” It would be a strange political party that would dump their leader if that happened.

  • mickfealty

    There’s really not that much for them in Dublin this time. They will win seats though, which when you have nothing there is something. Drumcondra was Bertie’s more than the party, and their candidate there is neither liked or supported by what’s left of the party in the rump state of Dublin Central.

    The real prize for FF in terms of new talent is getting Jim O’Callaghan in in Dublin Bay South, although the public estimates suggest he’s getting shaded out by his former party colleague Chris Andrews who’s now running for Sinn Fein. Definitely one to watch for at the count on Saturday.

    The real bump will come with the Seanad elections, not least because of their improved strength at council level. Expect to see a loading towards Dublin to load bases for the next election (whenever it comes). The culshy thing is a residual headwind, and one of the reason it is vital for them to get a decent toehold in Dublin this time.

  • mickfealty

    I suspect the left wing thing is dispensable to SF (although it may not be to their current voter base), they’ve always been more motivated by the national story than social justice. Plus they’re driven by tactics more than strategy.

    If we for a moment take seriously some of those +/-5% constituency polls you see an interesting pattern. In DBS they seem to be successfully squeezing FF with Chris Andrews, but in the west, they appear squeezed by FF and independents.

    That may be telling of an underlying dilemma. Are they nationalists or socialists? I’m not sure many of their new voters give a hoot about reunification, and it may be hard to sell them the idea that it will help them. And selling to the new Dublin voters may be disengaging traditional support.

    It would be easier to describe them as Ireland’s longest running and most successful campaign group than a political party as such. This term is their chance to begin phase two by eating into FF’s base.

    Their poor appetite for making decisions may be the real limit of their ambitions.

  • Kev Hughes

    ‘There’s really not that much for them in Dublin this time. They will win seats though, which when you have nothing there is something.’

    True, but for a party aspiring to government, to be nowhere to be seen in the nation’s capital in any meaningful way is a bit of a red flag to me.

    ‘Drumcondra was Bertie’s more than the party, and their candidate there is neither liked or supported by what’s left of the party in the rump state of Dublin Central.’

    TBF, it was more for illustration purposes, but come now, you’re kind of under-playing this also. That area was FF territory (you would say BA territory, but they were indistinguishable from one another) and now they’re nowhere to be seen. Only taxi drivers pointing out to me on the way to and from the airport ‘where Bortie used to run things, roight dar’. So, yes, I know it’s not fitting your narrative of a huge residual support for FF out there in the country to highlight this.

    ‘The real bump will come with the Seanad elections, not least because of their improved strength at council level. Expect to see a loading towards Dublin to load bases for the next election (whenever it comes). The culshy thing is a residual headwind, and one of the reason it is vital for them to get a decent toehold in Dublin this time.’

    I don’t doubt that at all, but whether it translates to more TDs is another question. There’s a large middle class an aspirational vote out there in Dublin, no doubt about it, and these votes need a home somewhere. Do I see them giving FF it? Not in any great numbers, especially when they lack actual Dubs or metropolitan types to front them in Dublin.

  • Robin Keogh

    Its all to do with having a strong team in the national parliament and an equally strong (if not stronger) party structure on the ground. In many places this has not been the case until quite recently. I have become convinced over the last few months that the growth in the partys popularity nationally has actually stormed ahead of the capacity local set ups have to deal with it. That is changing of course but it takes time, and it appears we will have plenty of that after the weekend. Not sure what you mean by the decision making comment ?

    It is still unclear where those independent votes are going to go after the first count, and i dont believe FF themselves are sure they will be the primary benificiaries.

    You are quite wrong about the ‘national question’. The Gra for unity sleeps in hearts of far more Irish people than this campaign reveals. Its not an issue yet ( although it might well be by the end of June), it is a central plank for SF and voters are fully aware of it.

    SFs Socialism has evolved in the same way that socialism and capitalism have evolved, away from purism and towards a more pragmatic and reasonable ideal. Being ‘left’ no longer requires a commitment to overthrow the beourgoise, its acommitment to fairness and basic humanitarian values; sadly lacking in the neo liberal group think that has dominated since Reagonomics and Thatcherism.

  • Nicholas Whyte

    Certainly a high point, but did not win the seat; we shall see if it is a high water mark!

  • Robin Keogh

    I would hope we take a seat here this time but i dont expect to get anything like 20% if national polls are to go by. There are many water marks on the banks of a choppy river ☺

  • kensei

    I think GA will still face some questions about his media performance, though I thought it much improved on 2011 but he’ll go when he wants to. He might decide to go on the back of success rather than failure. He always cited the New labour project as something he admired – I don’t think he could have failed to notice what happened to it without proper succession planning and development.

    I can’t ever see him doing a Cameroon and pre-annoucing, or a Thatcher and claiming he’ll go on forever. He’ll just filibuster the question and then one day you’ll wake up and he’ll have resigned.

  • mickfealty

    I’ll believe it when I see it. And not before. That’s a big stretch.

  • Discuscutter

    One thing that may make the difference is the number of local reps they have and the phenomenal work rate.

    Labour never had that and that always meant they depended on transfers and people looking for a fresh face.

  • mickfealty

    I’m not wrong about the national question, because I agree with you that it does ‘sleep in the hearts’ of many. I’m just saying that it’s not in the many that are going to vote for SF this time out. You cannot write about NI for as long as I have and not understand the appeal of nation on people, or indeed the limitations of that appeal.

    For a nation building process to work though, you need to be able to recognise those limitations in order to get beyond them. And that’s never been SF’s strongest card.

  • mickfealty

    We’ll have to see if it is a high point. But consider this? This has been by common consent the most boring campaign in a generation, but with, if as you suggest, FF doubling in size, just one clear winner.

    That, I would humbly suggest, is the biggest, fattest open-est goal that SF is likely to get for a generation. These Labour seats are just for free. But if that’s all they get then the next lot won’t come cheap, or without a rearguard on several fronts at once.

    The real dead weight the party carries is their sheer lack of achievement/delivery in NI. All that time spent telling the rest of us it was all the DUP’s fault means they have little to show for it. That’s why Adams is so weak on southern TV when confronted with his party’s tax policy, he’s never wrestled with it or anything like it from a position of responsibility, and people can sense that.

    And occasionally, the widening gap between aspiration and achievement breaks out from behind the heavily manicured frontage…

  • Discuscutter

    If Chris Andrews ran for the Demolish Dublin South East Inner City Party he would nearly get a quota on the first count.

    Jim o’Callaghan isn’t the warmest guy, he is a cold fish at the door where Chris is chronically happy all the time and people like that.

  • mickfealty

    Yep, on both counts. Jim’s fairly damp record in previous races speaks for itself in that regard.

  • mickfealty

    Kev, try this profile? http://goo.gl/KYTouQ. Also look up the election of Cyprian Brady in 2007 when FF had 44% of the vote and look at what happened to the current candidate that year if you honestly think I’m just saying all this to re-enforce a narrative. Berties ‘ward’ fell to a 29% swing in 2011.

    Fitzpatrick (whose father only narrowly beat Mary Lou’s predecessor Nicky Kehoe in 2002) could be in contention if there’s something bigger for her than we can currently see in the polls. But she’s contending in a crowded field. No one I’ve spoken to in FF has Central on their target list.

    The home you think these voters want to go to? That’s the big issue. Pascal Donohoe could easily fall in DubC, and in another constituency that might let Mary Fitz in. But the truth is one term Mary Lou is probably the only solid party banker here. Independents are where it’s at, for the moment.

    That’s why it will be tough going forward from this point for everyone daft enough to volunteer for party duty. I get the distinct feeling that some of them are just standing out on an isolated rock until such times as a decent vehicle comes along to pick them up again.

    FF is still far from being that decent vehicle. Until they or someone else is the most popular single choice is going to continue be ‘others’. Hung Dail or not.

  • Discuscutter

    Places like Dublin Bay (very very likely), Cork S.C. and even Clare are being mentioned as coming in to play.

    If places like that are in contention then there could be a good vote on the day.

    Clare would be a complete surprise, to even be talked of having a chance there is surprising.

  • Robin Keogh

    The main limitation in terms of getting to a vote is The refusal of progressive Dublin governments to engage in the unity argumment and agree to set out a reasonable stall to bring it about. I have long argued that SF alone will never deliver unity. There needs to be a cross party effort to at least present to unionism a set of ideas, but it is useless if Dublin is not interested.

  • gerdel

    this was the one and only time in 30 years, now or to come that sf had a chance to make a real impact. by real impact, I mean 30-35 seats , and getting over 20% of the vote.
    robin and his friends will shoot down the idea that this opinion is rubbish and say they are growing, growing etc. he will soon find out that sf are on less fertile soil in the south than in the north.
    sf will have failed by my perimeters this time, for simple reasons.
    1- legacy negatives in the south, slab etc, garda murders, etc, SC courts,
    2- not universally said, but I believe the vast majority of southerners either don’t want or will not trust a northern led party, and adams was never going to win the floating vote leading sf for this reason.
    sf are reaching the “high water mark”, because at a push only about 20-25% of the actual voting public down south, are in the “whinger”/welfare” category….this until recent elections was the fishing pool for ff and labour….the emergence of sf has stripped labour of its traditional clothes amongst these voters, and ff lost many of them in the last election….so apart from the loony left, sf had a free run at this 20-25% group, and they will end up with the bulk of their votes coming from them.
    the next step up the ladder is the low to middle income category where rests 55-65% of voters….this has been the ff and fg battleground and the seesawing for this group between the big parties will continue.
    sf gave up on this critically large pool of voters the second they said they were not cutting USC and preferred to spend the money on public services.
    within this large voting group, you have your typical net earner of 25-40k….and to a man/woman, they don’t trust public services on expenditure, and want the USC cuts returned to their own pockets so that they can spend that money as they see fit, or save for a mortgage deposit………..these voters decides who governs.
    sf and its policy not to cut USC, ONLY works for those who don’t work and/or seen as welfare spongers…..by refusing to cut the USC, sf have instantly put a roadblock on the next up target group of voters.
    they missed this group this time, and as sure as night follows day, the soldiers of destiny in ff will be dominant in this section come the next election. they have germinated many seeds this time.
    labour are in for disaster at the weekend, there will be plenty of bloodletting, but labour always rises again……..and who will labour be getting votes back from next time?….you guessed it, sf.
    as the OP said in this discussion, the ROI is a centre right leaning country and will not change, and long term populist negative socialist (even communist) policies will never allow a party edge above the 20% mark in a general election.
    2016 presented the perfect storm for sf, they will present 25 or so seats on sunday evening as a great result.
    some time later in mature reflection, these celebrations could be rather hollow.

  • Robin Keogh

    While the public are usually bored to death during campaigns, when the public are told by the media its been ‘relly boring’ its no surprise to them. I for one thought the campaign was anything but boring, I am exhausted but loved every minute, even the leaders debates. Being at the centre and working directly with a contender really gives you a flavour of just how genuinely hard the battle is, it also becomes so very personal when you have put your life on hold and invested your heart and soul into it. (Thank God the haven of Sestriere awaits).

    As for SF’s performance in Stormont, it is not unusual to judge the record of our opponents in office subjectively. Others disagree not least the Irish Times last week. Efforts to draw SF into a comparitive analysis of positions between the two Dails on this Island are disengenous and quite frankly nonsense. There is no comparison, there is no real government in the North, no party has the power to rule and unilerally affect radical change, all ideas, initiatives, aspirations are subject to a maze of obstacles.Green, Orange, Left, Right and Centre; two many ingredients to produce anything even remotely edible. Some feel SF/ DUP have done badly but others disagree, that the way it is.

    Labour’s seats are far from free. Their current ratings are not a million miles away from their traditional support base. Their core 6/7% will show up on Friday and dutifully transfer to FG. Their 2011 borrowed voters have divided themselves up between SF, AAA,PBP, Social Dems and independents, along with SF this is looking like 45% of the entire electorate. The question is, what happens next, what course to they take and who do they challenge? Is there space for them on the left or do they nuzzle in as a permanently squeezed centre? There is no room on the right.

    The erosion of support for the traditional big two, means FF and FG havn’t got much room for manouvre in the battle for supremacy on the right; hence MM’s shift to the left recently trying to push the walls out a bit further, he failed but not entirely his own fault. FF and FG are like divorced parents trying to control their unruly clatter of kids with Labour simply being that kind old aunty who is currently giving out the sweeties. FF, FG and LAB leaders have alternated between delivery and failure. While Adams is still delivering.

    Again, Adams is fully up to speed on tax issues and the various figures. The forensic examination by the media warrants a photgraphic memory that Einstein could hardly handle. And its all just show-time really Mick, something all parties have to contend with. Some perform better than others, it is really that simple. If the qualification for leadership means a choice between being great at interviews or great in government, I know what I would choose. Adams, Hume, Trimble, Paisley, McGuinness and Robinson have in their own way provided real leadership in the most extreme of circumstances despite some powerful mistakes. However, if you demand perfection then you cant truly believe in democracy. The perfection demanded by the media from all leaders is something that can never be delivered, it will always only provide sensationalism and opportunistic toppling. Killing the very stability we all strive for.

  • Kev Hughes

    Mick,

    Are you trying to show me the demise of FF in Drumcondra with a constituency that, in the words of the writers:

    ‘Much of Drumcondra village and the area around the Botanic Gardens moves to Dublin North West and the Navan Road, Ashtown and areas around the Phoenix Park have been recast to Dublin West.’

    It’s basically been decimated. But you appear to be focusing too much on Drumcondra as opposed to my overarching point regarding FF in the capital; that is it is non-existent and when we compare it to the Kerry Cumann you highlighted a few months ago, I sincerely doubt that an individual constituency cumann for FF in the capital would fill a banquet room in the Red Cow (for instance), wouldn’t you agree?

    ‘Also look up the election of Cyprian Brady in 2007 when FF had 44% of the vote and look at what happened to the current candidate that year if you honestly think I’m just saying all this to re-enforce a narrative. Berties ‘ward’ fell to a 29% swing in 2011.’

    I’m sorry, but are you honestly trying to compare the 2007 election to the 2011 election as an indicator of Bertie’s vote being the main thrust here? Something tells me Bertie mightn’t have gotten back in 2011 for some reason (hint, it was that big depression followed by mass emigration caused by him and his cronies ). But lets move on to the main interesting points any way.

    ‘The home you think these voters want to go to? That’s the big issue. Pascal Donohoe could easily fall in DubC, and in another constituency that might let Mary Fitz in. But the truth is one term Mary Lou is probably the only solid party banker here. Independents are where it’s at, for the moment.’ – I agree, Independents are the main driving force now in a system that is broken a bit owing to that localised centralism we have in place. The voting system combined with the lack of local democratic enforcement for decision making means that these folks get voted in to the Dail where they would normally be councillors instead.

    I have no idea where these votes will go in the end and in the long run, but party machines are definitely broken.

    ‘That’s why it will be tough going forward from this point for everyone daft enough to volunteer for party duty. I get the distinct feeling that some of them are just standing out on an isolated rock until such times as a decent vehicle comes along to pick them up again.’ – Probably. Most of these folks are politicians, as in, they like the cut and thrust of it, they’re not ‘loners’ and like being with a group of people to make changes. Once some things align then they will ‘with a heavy heart’ leave whatever protest group they’re a part of and jump in.

    ‘FF is still far from being that decent vehicle. Until they or someone else is the most popular single choice is going to continue be ‘others’. Hung Dail or not.’ – So, I can take that as, yes Kev, it’s not a great that they’re non-existent in Dublin?

  • mickfealty

    Kev, can you point me to where I’ve argued anything else? This morning Ivan Yates gives them about two seats in Dublin out of 39 in total. That base has been caravaning first to Labour under Gilmore, and latterly to AAA/PBP and SF.

    And with no TD anywhere in the city for four years that recovery is still several elections away.

  • Kev Hughes

    Be specific Mick; I’m to assume it is with regard to this?

    ‘So, I can take that as, yes Kev, it’s not a great that they’re non-existent in Dublin?’

    I can point to everywhere else where you haven’t actually said this, or where you’ve hidden it in plain sight should I say?

    http://sluggerotoole.com/2015/04/30/is-it-possible-that-fianna-fail-has-turned-another-one-of-those-invisible-corners/

    Sorry, but when you’re not specific we all start to make inferences.

    ‘And with no TD anywhere in the city for four years that recovery is still several elections away.’

    Which brings us full-circle back to my original assertion of them being viewed by many Dubs now as a ‘culchie’ party. Your points on the Kerry Cumann in the link above kind of re-enforce that for some, wouldn’t you agree?

  • Robin Keogh

    Can i change my mind on that. 35 is probably more likely

  • Jollyraj